Recently I was going through my notes when suddenly this
hair-raising, spine-chilling, bloodcurdling statistic jumped off the page
and slapped me silly…
…I almost fell off the chair but I grabbed the computer table for support! (I said almost, OK?)
I couldn’t believe it. You see…
“You’ll spend about 6 weeks of your time [in 2009] re-reading
the same information that you take no action on.”
Ouch! That will have to hurt your back pocket.
You see, most people touch the same piece of paper/document/letter
or open the same email SEVERAL TIMES before they finally decide
to take action on. Now that’s insanity on steroids!
I don’t know about you, but if that’s what you do and
you think that you should stop that, I think you’re right.
Do you know somebody who makes any of the following dumb excuses?
Oh! This again – I can’t deal with that now OR it’s too late,
I need to go to sleep, I’ll deal with it later, ZZZzzz… OR
I really need to go to the bathroom, as soon as I get back… OR
I’ll just quickly open this email, take a quick look and deal with it later…
Fortune 500 superstrategist, Chet Holmes, shared the above eye-opening statistic with a room full of people, who back in 2001 paid $US15,000 per person to learn his secrets.
Behind closed doors he shared a simple 6-step time-management formula that should give you an EXTRA 6 weeks in 2009!
Let’s start with step 1…
1. Touch it once. Don’t start and stop a task several times.
Start it when you can finish the task or when you can spend
a dedicated block of time on it. Don’t open that email or
letter until you are ready to deal with it.
I think this is pretty obvious. If you touch it you must take action on it.
This could be a scary thought for some. Don’t check your emails every fifteen minutes – that will drive you crazy. Chet is known for checking his emails at certain times of the day – that’s it!
Here’s a tip. Every time you touch “it” and don’t take action on it, tick it off with red pen.
Now, you see where this is going, right? Let’s see how many ‘red ticks’
you’ll have at the end of the week! This should help you be a little more decisive.
If something requires action of another, write a post it note and
send/give it to the person who can deal with it.
If you can’t do anything else with it, FILE it. Chet recommends having a file for everything.
I have an “ideas” file, “projects in progress” file, “will take action on one day” file, “things I want to read” file, etc.
The RULE is: if you touch it – DO something with it.
2. Make lists. Make daily lists of the 6 most important things
you need to accomplish each day and, by hook or by crook,
get those 6 things completed each day.
Checking email shouldn’t be on that list!
The RULE is: Only the six most important things.
Step 3… (This is getting fun, isn’t?)
3. Plan how much time you will allocate to each task.
Determine how much time will be needed or, if the item(s) is
too large to complete in one day, decide how much time
you will devote to that task during the day.
The RULE is: Plan how long each task will take.
4. Plan the day. Now you assign a specific time slot for each task.
Build into your daily schedule two, half hour slots to check email,
have brief check-in meetings with others and of course, the interruptions.
The RULE is: Assign time slots for accomplishing each task.
5. Prioritize. Put the most important task first, not last, in your daily schedule. How do you know which task is most important? Simply, ASK for RESULTS.
Police your schedule and stick to it – you are the only one
who can make your prioritized daily schedule work while others
try to interrupt and disrupt. People will eventually have to get used to your new schedule.
They won’t have a choice.
The RULE is: Follow the 80/20 rule – do the most productive task first.
6. Ask yourself, “Will it hurt me to throw this away?”
Most of the material you file and store will never be used again.
If you can retrieve it from some other source, like the Internet,
a colleague or other resource – chuck it away.
The RULE is: simply ask yourself: “Will it hurt me to throw this away?”
Keep in mind that every time you try to learn something new and make it a part of your subconscious, it takes about 3-4 weeks for it to become automatic.That’s a long time! And that’s where most people fail, they stop too soon.
So, if you’re excited about this cool time-management formula,
why not commit yourself to stick to it EVERY DAY for the next 4 weeks?
After that it should become your second nature – automatic!
Then you can move onto something else. Have Fun!
3, 2, 1… I have just launched this blog. So I’m a teeny excited!
As you can see, there is still some ‘fine-tuning’ to be done here. So please be patient. I’ll blog about copywriting, marketing, persuasion architecture (this should be hot…) and productivity – so make you sure you visit often!
Talk Soon – Daniel